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Wednesday,  April 17, 2024 6:51 PM 

New inclusive, accessible café opens at Vancouver airport

  • Air
  •   10-31-2023  5:25 am
  •   Pax Global Media

New inclusive, accessible café opens at Vancouver airport
Paper Planes Café, where adults with diverse abilities can gain employment, has opened at Vancouver airport (YVR).
Pax Global Media

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and the Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) have unveiled an inclusive and accessible coffee bar – “the first of its kind” at an airport in Canada.

Paper Planes Café, which opened Monday (Oct. 30), features staff of different abilities from the neurodiverse community.

The team will prepare and serve an array of coffee, hot drinks, and quick snacks for the millions of passengers who travel through YVR as well as thousands of employees and guests, creating inclusive employment opportunities and elevating the travel experience at YVR.

"We are thrilled to welcome Paper Planes Café to YVR in partnership with Pacific Autism Family Network," said Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, in a press release.

"Paper Planes Café is more than just a coffee shop, it is a place where adults with diverse abilities can gain paid employment, training, and valuable work experience. Travellers passing through YVR will have an opportunity to enjoy quality food and beverages while also upholding employment opportunities for individuals across the neurodiverse community in a safe and empowering place."

The goal of Paper Planes Café is to give power to individuals with diverse abilities by providing them with the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workforce.

"PAFN is so thrilled to be part of this new initiative at YVR.  Building upon our programming, this will allow us to offer meaningful training in a paid position leading to hopefully employment.  Thank you to YVR for helping us make a difference in the lives of individuals and their families across the neurodiverse community," said Sergio Cocchia O.B.C. LL.D. (Hon), board chair and president, Pacific Autism Family Network.

Through the café, YVR and PAFN will deliver a training program for up to six months for all staff focused on tangible skills and expertise typical to the restaurant and service industry, such as barista talents, food preparation, and customer service.

At the end of the training, staff will also be supported with their job search in the community.

Paper Planes Café at YVR is located in the Domestic Arrivals area on Level 2 and will be open seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

YVR partnered with PAFN in 2021 under a shared vision to make travel accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

Together with PAFN and as part of its three-year accessibility plan, YVR will continue to connect people and communities and strive to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible travel experience for people of all abilities.

More information about YVR's accessibility plan is available here.

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